Inman Square Coalition's Recommended Improvements to the INMAN SQUARE REDESIGN
Date: June, 2017

RE: Recommended Improvements to the Inman Square Re-design

Dear City Manager Louis DePasquale, Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson, Assistant City Manager for Community Development Iram Farooq, Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation Joseph Barr, Mayor Denise Simmons, Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, Councillors Carlone, Cheung, Devereux, Kelley, Maher, Mazen and Toomey:

We, the undersigned, are residents of Cambridge and other stakeholders who have concerns with the initial version of the Inman Square re-design’s signalized concept, as presented at the May 2, 2017 public meeting. In the interest of improving the design of Inman Square, we propose two key changes to the latest plan. Our core recommendations are as follows:

1. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF LANES FROM FOUR DOWN TO TWO. Providing four lanes in the heart of Inman Square represents an unnecessary increase from the status quo, encourages off-peak speeding, and is not consistent with the city’s commitments to Vehicle Trip Reduction and Vision Zero. The excessive use of asphalt will also exacerbate the heat island effect. 

2. PRESERVE VELLUCCI PARK IN ITS ENTIRETY. Not only is it unnecessary to remove Vellucci Park in order to create a large plaza space in front of Punjabi Dhaba, the current plan takes out several 40-year old Honeylocust trees. Removing mature trees from the urban canopy runs counter to the City’s stated commitment to environmental sustainability. Furthermore, pitting Vellucci Park against a new plaza space creates a false dichotomy: it is possible to have both the park and the plaza, provided we limit an unnecessary increase in the amount of space devoted to motor vehicles. 

We are confident that the adoption of the two foregoing recommendations will lead Inman Square to become a safer, more attractive and healthier public amenity.*

* For a complete description of recommendations for Inman Square, please refer to the document “The Inman Square Coalition’s Recommended Improvements to the Inman Square Redesign”:

Thank you.


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